The Twenty Years Since 9/11/2001: What Can We Learn from the (Mis)conduct of the War on Terror?

Virtual Virtual

Open to the public

/ Monday


This week we mark 20 years since the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil. At the same time, we reckon with the end to the campaign in Afghanistan, America's longest war and the first and last waged as a component of the War on Terror that formed the centerpiece of America's response to attacks of 9/11. These occasions present an opportunity to reflect on ways in which the events of 9/11 and the War on Terror have shaped or misshaped America's foreign policy and domestic politics for the last 20 years. 

 This panel discussion brings together a group of Sarah Lawrence faculty from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to share their reflections on an important range of issues. Was the War on Terror won or lost, or was it even the kind of campaign that permits of victory or defeat? Are terrorist groups organized under the banners of Islam and Jihad, as well as other kinds of terrorist threats, weaker or stronger today as a result of these campaigns? Do they present a central threat to America's security or core strategic interests? What can we learn from the ways in which our government and military conducted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as Syria and Libya and other theaters, that might help us to orient future foreign and military policy? What were the opportunity costs of concentrating foreign policy and military resources on this War as the Cold War ended, China began to emerge as a global power, climate change took hold, new technologies created novel vulnerabilities, etc.? Finally, what effects have the attacks of 9/11 and the War on Terror had on the domestic politics of America and other societies? Faculty panelists include Matthew Ellis, History; Philipp Nielsen, History; David Peritz, Politics; Viji Seshadri, Writing; Mark Shulman, History; and Frederic Smoler, Literature.